How ‘Pet Sounds’ Invented the Modern Pop Album

Pet Sounds was released 50 years ago yesterday. Created by Brian Wilson in the studio while the rest of the Beach Boys were on tour, it totally changed how pop albums were made. No longer one or two hits plus filler songs, Pet Sounds was a complete story from start to finish. Every so-called “concept” album since follows the model Pet Sounds created in 1966.

If you buy it today, it comes with both a stereo and mono mix. While both are outstanding, the mono mix is what Brian Wilson intended for the album to be.

The Toast is closing July 1st

The wonderful The Toast site is “closing” July 1st. All the great writing from Mallory Ortberg, Nicole Cliffe and others will remain but it won’t be updated for the most part. Mallory has taken over as Dear Prudence on Slate and both of them are active on Twitter so you can still get your smart writing needs fulfilled.

Geri Tayor Is Living With Alzheimer’s

At age 69 Geri Taylor realized that the little memory lapses were more than just the vagaries of aging when she could no longer recognize her own face in the mirror.

For most, the path of Alzheimer’s takes eight to ten years but for each the way is slightly different. But no matter how determined someone might be in the beginning, the disease will eventually have its way.

The ISS Is Sending TV Signals back to Earth

If you have the right setup, you can receive analog TV signals from the International Space Station. AMSAT UK has the details for the curious. This is Slow Scan Television (SSTV), so it’s more like a slide show than the video you’re used to.

Please note the Motherboard link is chock-full of inaccuracies. First of all, you don’t need any license, Amateur or otherwise, to receive RF signals (in the US or Canada, check your local regulations elsewhere). Second, while it may indeed take a week or more to receive your ham license, that’s FCC processing time after you’ve successfully passed a licensing examination. Assuming you’ll have to spend at least a little bit of time studying for the exam a week is wishful thinking.

If you’re interested in getting your license, the ARRL’s page on licensing is a good place to start.

Goodbye Flickr

I closed my old Flickr account that I opened back in 2002. Too many changes, too little attention to the right things, too much Yahoo. Flickr couldn’t decide what it wanted to be and its lack of focus doomed it in the age of cameraphones. I’m on 500px now and couldn’t be happier.

Not that it matters given my extremely limited page views but all of my old photo posts with Flickr-hosted images will no longer display correctly. I should probably fix that but it doesn’t really seem worth the effort. A couple of my photos were linked to by a couple of sites but all of those links are old and it’s doubtful anyone will notice.